AT least eight TDs and senators have been contacted by the Houses of the Oireachtas after making overclaims on their expenses.
The politicians were told they had asked for too much to cover the cost of overnight or mileage expenses, an investigation by the Sunday Tribune can reveal.
Former minister Frank Fahey was contacted on five separate occasions about his expenses, where claims were deemed to have been too high.
Other TDs and senators contacted include Fianna Fáil senator Cecelia Keaveney, Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris, independent TD Michael Lowry and the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny.
The eight politicians do not include senators Ivor Callely, Larry Butler and Ann Ormonde, whose expenses claims have already been the subject of scrutiny.
In June 2008, Frank Fahey over-claimed for nine 'overnights' – which would have been worth an estimated €1,260 – while he was abroad on official business.
The Houses of the Oireachtas told him: "You sought recoupment of 45 overnights for attendance at sittings of Dáil Éireann.
"However, our records indicate that during the above period, you had been part of the IPU Assembly that visited Capetown on 9 April 2008 to 19 April 2008 and you had also been part of the COE Delegation to Stockholm on 14 to 16 May 2008.
"Unfortunately, you would not be entitled to be recouped for nine overnights during this period."
In September of last year, claims for six overnights were refused because Fahey had reached his quota of nights or had not given sufficient details about them. In March 2008, Fahey – who claimed upwards of €75,000 a year under the old expenses system – was also contacted about a small overclaim of one night, where he had already put in for the maximum.
On two other occasions – in October and November 2007 – the former minister was contacted about small discrepancies, both of which resulted in non-payment for a single night.
The Fianna Fáil Senator Cecelia Keaveney was contacted three times about her expenses, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act have shown.
In a claim for several months in 2008, the Donegal politician put in for 33 'overnights' despite having been abroad several times during the same period.
A letter sent to her in July 2008 said: "You sought recoupment of 33 overnights for attendance at sittings of Seanad Éireann.
"However, our records indicate that within the above period you had visited Paris on 20 May 2008… Belfast on 22 May 2008… and Strasbourg between 23-26 June 2008.
"Therefore [we are] unable to recoup the eight overnights for Seanad sittings for these dates as they fall within the above-mentioned trips abroad."
Six months later, Keaveney was again contacted about claiming the "overnight" allowance of €140 per night when abroad.
This time, the senator had been in Istanbul with the Council of Europe for four nights and payment for a single night was not made.
Keaveney – who claimed up to €59,000 annually under the old Senate expense system – was also contacted a third time by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission after making a claim for five committee meetings.
Independent TD Michael Lowry, who recently said he could no longer afford to cover his legal costs at the Moriarty tribunal, was also contacted about over-claiming.
In July 2009, the Houses of the Oireachtas wrote to him querying a claim for "overnights" which would have resulted in overpayment of €560.
The letter said: "In this application, you sought recoupment of 12 overnights for attendance at sittings in Dáil Eireann. However, our records indicate that the maximum number of overnights that can be recouped by you in respect of the above period is eight."
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris was among at least eight politicians to be contacted after he overclaimed for overnights and for mileage.
In one expense claim covering six months, he put in for 108 one-way journeys from Co Kerry and 65 overnights. The Houses of the Oireachtas contacted him to say that the maximum he could claim would be 95 trips and 59 stays in Dublin.
A letter sent to the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny in March 2009 also explained how he had claimed too many "overnights" in one application.
Also contacted was Fine Gael's Michael D'Arcy, who inadvertently claimed for an overnight when he was abroad in Budapest, the Houses of the Oireachtas said.
Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins was also contacted twice about his claims.
In one letter, Timmins was told he had claimed for four overnights for attending committee meetings. However, inquiries by the Houses of the Oireachtas showed he had not been there for one of the meetings and two overnights were cancelled from his expense claim.
The Fianna Fáil TD John Cregan was contacted twice about his expenses, once where he claimed an overnight for Dáil business and a committee meeting that took place on the same day, and a second time where he had been abroad.
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